We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Or do we live in our own worlds, constructed from various presuppositions, superstitions, traditions, and preferred fantasies about ourselves, about others, and the world?
I have come to believe that everybody including me lives in some degree of a fantasy world, ranging from a little crazy (a few fantasies about self and others) to totally nuts (with minimal reality-testing especially with emotional issues). The further one is from consensual reality, the less effective in life one becomes. And to make it all more complex, consensual "real" is cultural and sub-cultural.
Not asserting that there is no "real," but that that experience is highly subjective and frequently distant from regular "real," in ordinary people. 35% of Americans believe the earth is flat, and God knows how many believe in UFOs. Yes, people are crazy.
TS Eliot: "Humankind can not bear very much reality."
This topic came up over dinner last night. I became the devil's advocate, of course, because everybody tends to think that their reality is the real one. People will defend their own reality to the point of war because so much of what they think about themselves depends on it.
When that is challenged or threatened, people can go berserk. Happens with sports teams, and politics, too. With religion, it's just too much.
Plato believed that the things we perceive as reality are just "reflections on a cave wall" and there some other "reality" out there that we can't experience. That's a deadly concept, which opens the door for every atrocity which has ever occurred on earth.
Snopercod, that is an interesting and deep thought about Plato's shadows. But, I think he was being descriptive; not being permissive. Humans have practiced every atrocity from the beginning (pick your favorite beginning here).
The philosopher/psychologist William James once commented that a positive delusion can be a good way to live. Okay, I can accept that. Recently however--within a year or five--a study was published that argued a positive delusion was better than reality. Huh? The study, however, did not tell me what reality is. It's hard to take the recent study seriously without knowing what "reality" is. Any ideas?
I grew up in a family of six all born within 9 years, so we were fairly close in age. A few years back I had a conversation with my older sister (4 years older) about an event. We were both amazed that our recollections and ideas about the even were so different. In fact, so vastly different we wondered if we were at the same event.
I would say reality is subjective for the most part.